Saturday, April 7, 2012

Libraries and Sleep

Sepia Saturday has two themes this week -- Library and Sleep.  I'm having a hard time tying either to family history photos in my collection.  So this week will be pretty modern history.

When I was growing up in the 1960s and '70s, we spent a lot of time in libraries.  I was disappointed not to find any library photos from my childhood.  When I was a baby and my father slept during the day due to his work/school schedule, my mother often took me to the library.  We hung out inside or out on the lawn.  Later, in Phoenix, when my mom was taking evening classes at the local college, if she didn't have a babysitter for me, I sat in the library with my books until her class finished.  I was a quiet, independent child.  In the picture below, I'm with my grandmother, Betty Whitfield Luther and my mother, Sandra Moore Riley,  about 1970 or '71, shortly before we moved to Phoenix.

I thought I found a picture of myself studying in the library at International House/UC Berkeley, but on closer inspection, I think it is actually the Great Hall at International House.  And I'm probably just pretending to study for the photo.  I lived at International House while I was a grad student at Berkeley.  I-House has a list of hundreds of alumni couples who met there - including me and my husband!  This picture was taken in the late 1980s.

And finally, sleep.  The last two photos are of my children sleeping or getting ready to sleep -  surrounded by books from our personal library.  We did get books from the library, but I would not have dared to take them on vacation.  The first picture was taken at a friend's apartment where we stayed on a trip to Disneyland in 1995.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


This week's Sepia Saturday theme is Work and I'll focus on my maternal grandmother, Betty Whitfield and my father, John Riley.

Betty Whitfield attended nursing school at Vanderbilt University. She did not finish her nursing degree, though, because she contracted tuberculosis and was sent to convalesce. After three year's rest, she had recovered, but had sustained some permanent lung damage.

Betty went on to get a teaching degree in Oklahoma. She taught mostly second grade for decades, but I don't have a photo of her in a classroom -- the photo below is of her retirement party. Betty is standing, holding the package. Her very good friend, Avanelle Burns is seated beside her.

My father, John Riley, also started out in nursing school, but ended up a mechanical engineer. John started work as a young teen with his own lawn mowing business. By the time he received his engineering degree he had worked many jobs including summer farm hand, dental assistant in the US Air Force, mattress deliverer, ice cream scooper, and draftsman. But he was always an engineer at heart, able to design, fix or build pretty much anything.

After retirement, John continued working as a volunteer for the American Red Cross. He is on the left in the photo below. One of his Red Cross assignments was interviewing affected New York City residents after 9/11.

Click below to see more Sepia Saturday entries.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Going Out

Sepia Saturday theme this week is Going Out. I can hear my grandmother's voice in my head saying, "Oh! Look at me in that number!" or "That was some garb I was wearing!" and laughing. And that IS some garb she has on in the first picture! It was taken around 1929 when she was about 14. My grandmother was named Phoebe Frances Whitfield after her Aunt Phoebe and Aunt Frances. Apparently, when she was a little girl, she liked playing with the pig, whose name was Betty. Her siblings started calling her Pig Betty and eventually, Betty stuck. She's with her older brother, Sam in the second picture.

Betty Whitfield, Alex Lucas and Ethel c1929. Probably near Valliant, OK

Sam Whitfield and Betty Whitfield c1931

Here Betty is with a friend and with my grandfather, Lewis Moore.

By the time the pictures below were taken, Betty and my mom had moved to California.

Sandra Moore and Betty Whitfield Moore c1947 Nita Jones and Betty

Into the 50s -- Here, Betty is the one wearing glasses. She's beside her sister, Dell who has the white earrings. Dell's husband, Harold Bates, was a fireman and everyone is ready to go to the Fireman's Ball. Harold is the fireman on the left. My mother, Sandra, is the rightmost girl and she was about 13 when this was taken in 1956 in Fresno, CA.

Both of my grandmothers attended my brother's 8th grade graduation in Page, AZ in 1986.

Treasa Hall Riley, John Whitfield Riley, Betty Whitfield Moore Vedder May 1986

And just a couple pictures of me and my dad ready to go somewhere.

Margaret and John Riley about 1966, Cambria, CA Margaret and John Riley c1972, Phoenix, AZ

Click above to see more Sepia Saturday entries.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Great Grandparents

Starting with the tiny picture in the middle and going clockwise: John Whitfield, Daisy Pearl Barger, Charley Harley Moore, Ida Austin, Sarah Adeline O'Hara, Peter Arthur Hall, Margaret Mae Hubbell, John Edgar Riley (on right).

These are all eight of my great grandparents. They were born between 1872 and 1892 in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Connecticut. I feel lucky to know what they looked like. I wonder what traits I inherited from each of them!

My mother's maternal grandparents:

John Whitfield (b. 11 July 1888 in Chapel Hill, Arkansas, d. 11 Nov 1977, DeQueen, AR) and Ida Austin (b. 2 February 1890 near Little River, Indian Territory, now OK, d. 1 Nov 1948, Paris, TX). They had 9 children, 8 of whom lived to adulthood. John suffered a head injury while working at a lumber mill a few years after their marriage and his personality changed. But he was a hardworking farmer for most of his life. Ida was great-granddaughter of Chief Thomas LeFlore, first chief of his district after removal (Trail of Tears) from Mississippi. Ida was a quiet, gentle woman who insisted that her children take time from working on the farm to go to school. She often worked in the fields with a pallet nearby to hold her youngest baby. She died at age 58 from injuries sustained when a car ran her horse and wagon off the road.

Charles Harley Moore, Pearl Daisy Barger Moore with their older children and two of Pearl's sisters.

My mother's paternal grandparents: Charles Harley Moore (b. 31 October 1874 in Reagan, Indian Territory, d. 5 October 1942, OK) and Pearl Daisy Barger (b. 3 February 1881 in Wildersville, TN, d. 17 May 1953, Troy, OK). Charley apparently loved to sing and was in a chorus or singing group. Pearl Daisy was always ready to go out. When anyone came by to visit her, she wanted to be taken out with them.

My father's maternal grandparents: Peter Arthur Hall (b. 23 August 1872 in Missouri, d. 16 February 1934, Atlanta, GA) and Sarah Adeline O'Hara (b. 13 August 1879 in Kansas City, KS, d. 20 May 1970). Arthur invested in a citrus orchard in Florida. A freeze caused them to lose the farm. I just realized that I don't know a story about Addie. She was alive until 1970 and I never met her. We share a birthday. I never met any of her children besides my grandmother. This makes me sad.

Margaret Mae Hubbell Riley and John Edgar Riley with a friend

My father's paternal grandparents: John Edgar Riley (b. 21 April 1892 in Broad Brook, CT, d. 3 September 1958, Kansas City, MO) and Margaret Mae Hubbell (b. 25 February 1891 in Lawrence, KS, d. 6 August 1930, Lawrence, KS). John Edgar fought in the Mexican border dispute. He'd run off from New York City and joined the army as an older teen. He ended up working for the railroad in KS. Both his parents and his three sisters all died during the years John was between 12 and 22. He's a bit of a mystery. He left details about his family, but we haven't been able to document any of it. There is no record of his parents or sisters, and no record of him before 1911. Margaret Mae died at 39, leaving three young adolescents and a 5-year-old. Rumor has it that she died of food poisoning. Her elder daughter, also named Margaret, quit school at 13 to take care of the family. She was adored by her siblings for ever. They were a very close family and my father spent many happy times with his paternal uncles, aunts and cousins.

Sepia Saturday -- Scouting

It is Wednesday and I am again late to post my Sepia Saturday contribution. This week's theme, celebrating 100 years of scouting, was a challenge for me. I was a Brownie when we lived in Phoenix in the early 1970s. I remember wearing my uniform which had a little pocket to hold a dime for my dues, but I don't have a photo of it or of me doing any Brownie activities. We went on a Brownie trip to Prescott to play in the snow when I was in about second grade. Most of us didn't have real winter wear, and I dressed something like how I'm dressed in the photo below of me with my father. I remember the Brownie leaders had us put plastic bags between our socks and shoes to keep our feet dry.

My grandfather, Lewis Moore, was in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Not scouting, but they were in uniforms in the mountains -- Idaho Springs, Colorado. He's the leftmost guy standing in the middle row. He cut this long photo to fit it in his album.

Lastly, my children as scouts... My son at a cub scout event playing recorder. He is the third from the left. And my daughters at a Brownie overnight event doing archery. These were taken about 10 years ago.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sepia Saturday -- Hair

I'm late for Sepia Saturday, but found a few bearded men in the family pictures for the March 10, 2012 "Hair" theme. I also found the above picture of my maternal grandmother's sister, Dell Marie Whitfield who was known for her beautiful curly hair that easily formed long ringlets. This picture was probably taken around 1930.

Below is Dave Harness, brother of my great- great- great grandmother, Rhoda Harness Hubbell. We have a pair of very old photo albums from this branch of my father's family. We also have the two sheets of paper my grandfather wrote names on as he asked his grandmother who the people in the photos were. Unfortunately, there were blank spaces on the page, and some incomplete names, like "The Boyce Girl". But the entry for Dave Harness, says, "Uncle Dave Harness, my great grandmother's brother". Uncle Dave was born in Virginia around 1823 and ended up in Kansas.

For the third photo, we go back to my mother's side. The smallest child, standing in the middle of the photo between his parents is my great-grandfather, John Whitfield. He is the only one of my great-grandparents that I met. He died when I was twelve, but I met him when I was very young... I barely remember it. The bearded man is his father, Benjamin Franklin Whitfield.


Saturday, March 3, 2012


This is my first Sepia Saturday posting and the theme this week is GAMES.

My great uncle Euel Moore was a professional baseball player in the 1930s. He played for the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies.

They were a baseball-loving family and Euel's baby brother was my grandfather, Lewis Moore. In the photo below, Lewis is pitching in Italy during World War II.

My grandfather has a cast on his arm here. Probably not a baseball injury...